Organizational development

We explain what organizational development is, its importance and methods. In addition, we explore the stages of organizational development, and more.

desarrollo organizacional
Organizational development allows for effective adaptation to change.

What is organizational development?

Organizational development is a set of methods and systematic actions that allow an organization to operate and adapt to change, with the purpose of growing and developing effectively.

For example: human resources management and strategic planning are factors that help solve problems or conflict situations affecting the organization's efficiency.

Organizational development makes it possible to implement a previously planned change, such as increasing productive capacity or improving employee loyalty. Whatever the change needed to be introduced by an organization to ensure it operates following objectives, it is part of the organizational development.

Organizational development methods

In order for an organization to be effective, it must implement dynamic and systematic business management methods which may allow it to face and cope with change. Both challenges and objectives are part of organizational development.

Current organizational development differs from the traditional bureaucratic system, which was based on rigid management criteria and structures, did not adapt to change quickly, and did not take into account the full potential of human resources.

Today's organizational development is influenced by technological advances, market changes, and especially by social and ideological changes affecting the organizational climate.

However, organizational management methods that are effective at present will need to be updated or replaced by new methods in the future. Flexibility is possible in intelligent organizations, and in those that perform continuous evaluation and learning.

Stages of organizational development

desarrollo organizacional
Continuous evaluation is key to ensuring the achievement of objectives.

Organizational development can be carried out in multiple ways, in stages or on the basis of systematized processes, applying common methods of business management in each case.

The main stages of organizational development are:

  • Market research. It involves gathering data and analyzing the metrics of competitors, consumers, clients, and other factors external to the organization in order to obtain results that may contribute to problem-solving or strategic decision-making.
  • Strategic planning. It involves creating an action plan to achieve objectives, based on the adequate management of both available resources and those to be incorporated, as well as on market conditions, and potential problems that may arise.
  • Motivation of human resources. It is part of the work of the human resources area, which evaluates, analyzes and draws conclusions from the organization’s main resource: its employees. The purpose is to contribute to maintaining a balanced organizational climate, for which it is necessary to use communication channels that may allow for employee feedback.
  • Continuous evaluation. It involves analyzing and identifying conflicts or areas of improvement for the different processes of the organization, such as productivity levels and quality, employee and customer satisfaction, or the situation of competitors.
  • Continuous learning. It involves applying systematic processes to acquire knowledge based on one's own experiences, especially those related to human resources, including employees and customers. The goal is to benefit the organizational climate to generate better working conditions for employees, and to create a positive impact on the productive effectiveness of the organization.


  • Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2009). Fundamentos del comportamiento organizacional. 13ra. Edición. Pearson. México.
  • Castrillón, M. A. G. (2005). El desarrollo organizacional y el cambio planeado. Universidad del Rosario.
  • Redacción de RRHH TV. (2019). El desarrollo organizacional y su importancia dentro de las empresas. RecursosHumanos.
  • Pineda Godoy, B. Desarrollo organizacional. Universidad Nacional Abierta. Venezuela.

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DE AZKUE, Inés. "Organizational development".
Encyclopedia of Humanities. 22 January, 2024,

About the author

Author: Inés de Azkue

Bachelor of Arts in advertising (University of Morón)

Translated by: Marilina Gary

Degree in English Language Teaching (Juan XXIII Institute of Higher Education, Bahía Blanca, Argentina).

Updated on: 22 January, 2024
Posted on: 28 September, 2023

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